HUNTS POINT - Residents of Hunts Point who have been fighting for decades to have a local highway removed say they are one major step closer to their goal.

The battle over the Sheridan Expressway has been waged ever since city Department of Transportation officials proposed a renovation of the interchange that they hoped would make moving trucks in and out of Hunts Point easier.

But the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance countered that having acres of green housing should take precedence over the plan and advocated having the expressway removed.

?If these things can happen, you'll see the community really actualize to its full potential,? says Tanya Fields, of the group Sustainable South Bronx. ?You'll see the best of Hunts Point.?

The watershed alliance says the idea to tear down the expressway may be coming to fruition now that design changes to the DOT?s Bruckner-Sheridan Expressway Interchange project has removed a key justification for keeping the highway.

The alliance says the state has included the community?s plan as one alternative for the site. The state is said to be weighing four ideas for the site, two that would result in the Sheridan being removed.